STORM AT KAIGOORLIE. MANY BUIJ DINGS WRECKED. FIVE PERSONS INJURED. ELECTRIC SERVICE DISLO CATE). DAMAGE ESTIMATED AT £8,000. Kalgoorlie was visited to-day by a terrific storm, akin to an American tor nado, with not altogether dissimilar re sults in the matter of occasioning great destruction to buildings and injury to persons. The full extent of the damage to property cannot immediately be esti mated, but must run into several thou sands of pounds. During the past two days the climatic conditions here. have been peculiarly unsettled for the late February period. Conimencinig early on Sunday evening, hear.# rain threat ened, but held off, intermittent light showers serving to mark a change in oe weather. On .Monday it liained off and on through the day. Copious show. ers fell throughout last night. This morning the sky was very heavily over cast, and showers fell frequently. In the early afternoon great banks of black clouds gathered in the north-west quarter, the very dirty appearance of which prompted not a few who had re collections of the-prelude to the event ful tornado-like storm of four years ago to suggest another such visitation. Their forebodings were not unwarrant ed. The bank of rain clouds in the north-west loomed larger, more solid, and nearer. As the early afternoon wore on, the heavy thunder and blind ing flashes of forked lightning presaged a fierce storm. It came, heralded by a windstorm, soon after half-past 3 o'clock, its course apparently following the Menlzies railway line route. The first strong gusts of wind were followed by a volley of large hailstones, and then a still fiercer gale struck the town, while a flood of rain poured down. No occupants of premises facing the north dared to keep their doors open. No tor- nado, Nor'-West "cockeyed bob," southerly-buster, or goldfields willy- willy has ever blown with more force than did this storm. Unlike the pre- vious gale, which concentrated its fury rather upon the western end of Kal- goorlie, this storm took in the whole municipality, as much damage being done by it in the east end of the town as in the west. It raged with a fierce- ness that drove everyone in the streets at the time to seek the nearest shelter, yet it had spent its force locally in less then a quarter of an hour. After the lapse of that time the sun shone out upon a scene of widespread damage. The most serious of all the destruction wrought within the municipality pro- per was the blowing down of the back brick wall of the Kalgoorlie Town Hall, in course of erection on the corner of Hannan and Wilson streets, the mass of falling material ruining the com- pleted stage and proscenium walls. An unsightly gap of immense size was made in the back wall of the Town Hall, the damage to which must all be borne by the contractors, who had not insured the building in course of erection. To-night the City Sur- veyor roughly estimated the dam- age to that building at £4,000. Forrest-street, to which the Kalgoorlie railway, station has its frontage, receir ed the full force of the tornado. Two brick chimney stacks over the kitchen of the railway refreshment rooms were blown on to the roof and fell through the skillion, damaging the catering stock, sheds, and outhouses. At the rear of Allen and Brimage's forward ing agency the premises were levelled to the ground. Portion of the roof ',f the Queensland Hotel was torn off. A section of the railway station fence was F-lown down, and outhouses and privies innumerable were scattered before thb wind. Camps in Dugan-street were upset, after being spun around to' totum fashion by the gale. The rear premises of Whelan's Shamrock Hotel were lifted bodily from the back of that Hannans-street house into Lane-street: Portion of the roof of the theatre build ing in Jonathan Morris's Summer Gar dlens was blown off, the back of the theatre was bulged out, and a section of the fence surrounding the Gardens was laid flat A three-roomed wood and iron empty dwelling near Lane street was turned upsido down, and numerous advertisement hoardings were levelled to the footway. Nume rous tin chimneys were torn from the kitchens of humble homes. The veran dah and roofing of the Racecourse Hotel were torn off, but the storm did not harm a stick of the Kalgoorlic irascourse propert-. So much for the n esterly end of the town. Nearer the heart of the business cen tre of Kalgoorlie destruiction was anv thine but confined to the Town Hall huilging. Six telegraph and telephone posts in Wilson-street were thrown down, and took with thenm the electric cables of the tramway system, the live n ire remaining on the rondiway for a quarter of an hour before tihe circuit was cut off. Plaistow2 ,uud Co's . verandah was carried downi
nu t.nc WIHuoWs sBilmasleo, nuagi a stock salevard signboards and heavy gates were torn from their fastenings. A fence frontilng the approach to her Majesty's Theatre and nortion of the Union Brewery's Biookman-street I fence were torn away. Portion of the roof of the Dugan-street State school was broken away. and the verandah of Paton's White Hart Hotel. just above the municipal market block. was torn from the hotel masonry and canter' -o tan extravagant angle. to the danger of pedestrians. About 13 or 20 telegraph and telephone posts in Hannan-street Swere either clown down or canted over Still thie stay wires on business lpremises saved them from falling. Business signs in plenty were blown away, and a man was hit on the head by a piece of gutter-piping torn off the roof of Park Buildings. the wound resulting necessi tating the police conveying him to the hospital. Pepper trees in front of the post-office were uprooted, alndl the Halln nans-street verandahl of tihe Palace Hotel had its roof lifted off cleanly. To the north of this quarter a section of the police-station quarters and fence I
was twisted about, portions of the southern side bedrooms of Ardross Chambers. in Maritana-street. were badly damaged. and the roof of St. John's Anglican Church suffered damage sufficient to suiggest that the repairs effected to the edifice after its experi once of the previous great storm were of a very make-shift order. The un sightly condition of the damaged por tion of the church and schoolroom should result in the movement for n new church building being given a fillip. In the east end of Hannan-street the main thoroughfare presented a sad scene. Half-a-dozeni telegraph posts were either down or canted over with their wires in one immense mass at entanglement. upon which hunug an ex traordinary collection of building de bris. The roadway was also strewn with debris, to account for which at first was difli cult. 'The explanation, however, represented the loss of fully £2,000 to the drapery firm of Montgonu cry Bros. in business on the corner of Hasnan and Porter streets. The firm had in course of erection extcensive addition: to their premises at the rear of their shop, and their almost completed build ing, a 1w', storeyed affair, was tot:lv wrecked. Five of the workmen wcre on the scaffolding at tI-e time the storm burst upon that corner, and were thrown do.rn. One. the foreman, Mr. Ablbott, was so badly injured that hi: was taken to the hospital. The inju lies of the others were not serious. 'Ih." roof of the new building was carried by the gale over the adjoining two storcy cro en and hurled down into thi' centre of Hanran-street, cutting dlo. I a: it lase.od a telegraph and electrie light cable mole and Enappilg it off ::: though it wero a reed. The debris: scattered all over the roadway. A shower of bricks and mIasonry front tit' same building flew in the air like :i per and broke the iron railing of the balcony of Cohn's buildings on the ot pi' side of Hannan-street and broke the windlows of Miss Ross's music studio. Mortar and nails whizzed down int. the street and across the roadway imt. Davis' Savoy Hotel, and there were' mnany narrow escapes fronm falling tini ber. Montgomery Bros.' employees had come especially narrow escapes. A 1? x 12 jarrah girder at the rear of the Manchester department of the shop wa: snapped by a pile of hicks blown down from the building in course of erectioei through the roof of the old premise. and another mass of bricks and timber tumbled down into the millinery show rooms and ruined an immense amountor of stock. The back portion of fle shop was under a. foot of water in two min utes, and a large quantity of Manche ter stock was damaged. The fallinj electric -light cable tore the " hats ol: three women sitting in a vehicle ii front of the shop, mnd upon reachinh: the roadway it hurst into flames, wrhie. were.quickly subdued by the rain. Soni windoxs of the west wall of the Cri i morne Gardens Theatre building wereo damaged. The telegraph poles at thu top end of Hannan-street were thrown down. and generally 1tioughout the town telephami: and electric lighting -connections were cut off. To the southward of the main thor oughfare houses were unroofed iii McDonald-street, and at Hannan:. Brewery Bottling Works the roof was crunipled up. Out Piccadilly way Dr. Aimee Guysmith's surger3ywas 'unrool ed, and numerous outhouses were either blown down or completely destroyed. The force of the storm appears to have been spent when the heavy raii reached Boulder. Only a few sheets of iron were lifted from the roo of the Boulder Town Hall. in course of erection, the building being in :: more advanced stage of completion than that of Kalgoorlie. The throwinr down of so many of the electric light poles and cables accounted for Kalgoor lie being thrown into a condition o. gloom as regards light, little bette' than that prevailing in the earliest pioneering days of Hannans town, the expedient of ,kerosene lamps and can dles as illuminants having to be resort ed to in all the hotels and house.. Cremorne Gardens could niot openI for want of electric light. The inter-State swimming champions' carnival in the Kalgoorlie baths, however, was open ed, the supply of electric light being re sumed throughout the town precisely at 8.o'clock, as Mr. Padfield was in the act of announciug from the front of the baths that there would be no show this evening, as there was ipf light, and the experiment of trying to light the baths with the Salvation Armys torches had proved futile. No fewer than five p'er sons were conveyed to the Kalgoorlie Government Hospital for treatment for injuries received during the storm, the most serious case being that of a boy residing in Piccadilly, whose leg was broken through a privy, in which h. took shelter, being capsized. The ihoe pitid itself, the first building of any size which lay in the path of the tor nado, suffered a considerable amoiult of damage. No 4 ward was unrootefl; three hlessian and wood buildings used as wards in the early days. and now used for stores, were blown down and away into a corner of the ground, and half of the feices on the south and east sides of the gropads were levelled to the road. The iron froni the roof of the ward was carried by thg gale on to the Menzies railway line, some distance off. Gangs of ieen were put to work throughout the town late in the after noon to repair the damage done. iuiid kept at work while light lasted. They will resume early to-mirrow morning. It is not easy to-night to estimate the total monetary 4;extent of the damage done by the strm, but it is not an over estimate to quote it at £8,000.